Jacksonville Axemen (56) defeated Brooklyn Kings (16)
Jacksonville has won the 2018 USA Rugby League national championship in emphatic style. The Axemen trailed briefly just once during the match before clinching a 56-16 victory against the Brooklyn Kings in the USARL championship game. And as was the case all season long, their Australian import hooker and goalkicker Lachlan Bristow was the star of the show in amassing 36 points on his own. He scored no fewer than five tries and booted eight conversions as Jacksonville went on to outscore Brooklyn by ten tries to three. For their part, and despite being outplayed on the night, the Kings didn’t stop trying for the whole 80 minutes and made the final scoreline somewhat more respectable with two late tries. Repeating a pattern that has been the norm this season, the Axemen scored first when right winger Tyler McClain dotted down within the opening minutes. Bristow missed with the conversion for an early 4-0 lead. Brooklyn hit back within minutes when one of their main playmakers Jerome Easthope forced the ball over the line after sustained Kings pressure. The extras were added by Reece Purcell to give the visitors a temporary 6-4 lead. However, they didn’t stay in front for long as the home team scored five more tries in the lead up to halftime. Bristow got three of them, while McClain picked up his second and fullback Will Fletcher scored one. Bristow converted all five tries to give Jacksonville a huge 34-6 lead at the main break. As was often the case in 2018, the second half was pretty much a repeat of the first forty with the Axemen forging their way to the win with four more tries. Left winger David Washington and center Kyle Grinold added singles, while Bristow scored twice more and converted three of the scores. The Kings, who might have thrown in the towel, instead stepped up their pressure and were rewarded with two tries to Brandon Anderson and Seimou Smith, one of which Purcell converted, to make the final scoreline of 56-16.
Venue: University of North Florida, Jacksonville, FL 32224
Jacksonville - 56 (Lachlan Bristow x5, Tyler McClain x2, Will Fletcher, David Washington, Kyle Grinold tries; Bristow 8 goals) defeated Brooklyn Kings - 16 (Jerome Easthope, Brandon Anderson, Seimou Smith tries; Reece Purcell 2 goals)
Match Officials: Cody Kuxmann (head referee)
Jacksonville Axemen: David Thomas, David Washington, Kyle Grinold, Will Fletcher, Tyler McClain, Steven Hill, Montana Northcroft, Jon Purnell (C), Lachlan Bristow, Kevin Wathen, Jed Pearce, Taylor Youngling, Desta Bailey Interchange: Hunter Lawson, Kris Townsel, James Campbell, Alex Eberle, Khalial Harris Coach: Sean Rutgerson
Brooklyn Kings: Seimou Smith, Shaniyat Chowdhury, Brandon Anderson, Jay Robinson, Corey Jones, Kallum Coleman, Reece Purcell, Dane Wilcoxen, Jerome Easthope (VC), Ralph Mendez, Nick Briggs, Matt Almeida, Garet Shepherdon (C) Interchange: Odain Brown, Wes Haughton, Justin Coffman, Jah Marconi Coach: Brent Richardson